Cider shows c-store plus

IS there a strong convenience channel effect on cider sales? Does the apple-based drink, including all its modern flavoured varieties, perform significantly differently in local stores when compared to the giant supermarkets?
IRIWell it certainly looks like there’s a Scottish conveniences store difference.
Figures from market intelligence provider IRI from its exclusive read of Scottish convenience stores shows cider sales in the 52 weeks to 27 March this year were £28.2m and that was a very creditable 9.6% higher than the previous year.
In the total UK market where cider sales had in recent years been growing towards £1bn IRI recorded a fall of 2.8%.
That’s a very significant fall. So what does Martin Wood, head of strategic insight – retail at IRI think is going on?
The Scottish convenience market for cider had indeed grown by 9.6% in the latest year, he noted.
And he said: “This growth has been driven in particular by fruit ciders, especially Strongbow Dark Fruit.
“In the UK overall cider sales have fallen, partly because of the peaking of the cider boom and partly because there was no big summer sporting occasion to boost sales in 2015.
“The convenience sector is less subject to these trends,” he said.
Slightly more recent figures from IRI, for the 52 weeks to 24 April this year, showed that in Scottish convenience stores cider in cans accounted for 41.1% of cider sales. Cider in glass took 19.6% of the Scottish convenience cider market and cider in plastic containers took 39.3%.
That meant the share taken by cans had risen from 39.2% the year before. Sales share taken by cider in glass was virtually the same. But plastic was down from 41.2% the previous year.
So cans grew at expense of plastic bottles in Scottish convenience outlets, IRI noted.
Compared to supermarkets (where glass bottles are 40% of the market) glass packs account for a far smaller share of the market in convenience, in the UK generally as well as in Scotland.
“As premium fruit ciders are mainly sold in glass bottles this represents a growth opportunity for convenience,” said IRI.